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Mark Bocek used a relentless ground game to take a wide unanimous decision victory over John Alessio in the first main card bout of UFC 145. Alessio had his moments in the standup, but they were brief. Bocek grinded away against the cage to get takedowns, and his superiority on the ground was evident by how well he controlled position. He had multiple dominant positions in the bout, but never really came close to finishing. The scores were 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28.
Bocek looked for some single right hands early in the opening round, then switched it up and looked for a takedown against the fence. Alessio fought it off, but Bocek moved to his back and landed a nice sweep takedown. Bocek then opened up with some elbows while Alessio looked to keep Bocek in his full guard. Bocek continued with the elbows and slid around to Alessio's back, looking to sink in his hooks. He got them and locked up a body triangle, but the round ended before Bocek could threaten with a choke.
Alessio started the middle stanza a little better, touching up Bocek with a couple of solid combinations. Bocek seemed content to trade strikes for a while, then decided to charge forward with a power double and got the takedown against the fence. Bocek methodically passed guard while landing some strikes, but Alessio was able to get it it back to half guard multiple times and eventually got back to his feet. Alessio was winning the standup again, but again Bocek bullied him against the fence, where the round ended.
Alessio once again was getting the best of the standup early in the third, landing a solid left hand and some good leg kicks. He went for a front kick though, and Bocek caught it and put it back on the floor. He immediately took the back and sunk in the hooks with more than half the round left. Mark locked up the body triangle, then switched sides with it. Alessio managed to scramble free though, and landed a front kick. Bocek responded with a winging right hook, then ran forward and scooped up Alessio for another takedown. Once again Alessio got up, but the relentless Bocek pressed him against the cage and grinded away. Alessio avoided one final takedown and they threw bombs for the last 15 seconds, but Alessio couldn't land anything.
Bocek entered the bout coming off a big win over Nik Lentz at UFC 140. Alessio entered the bout as a late replacement for Matt Wiman and was stepping into the octagon for the first time in almost six years.
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